William Manchenton - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Posted by William Manchenton on 4/23/2019

Poinsettias are plants most often associated with Christmas, but you can display them indoors during any season. They are beautiful and can add color to your home. Poinsettia flowers come in pink, white, cream and red (which is the most popular). These flowers grow up to 18 inches tall, but to keep them looking stunning requires a substantial amount of attention.

Poinsettias initially are from Mexico and South America and were grown strictly for making a red dye and for medical use. The plant became famous and synonymous with Christmas in the 16th century. These holiday plants can be grown outdoors in your yard if your home is in a frost-free environment. 

Poinsettias require a temperature of about 65 to 80F during the day and nothing below 60-degrees F at night to keep them healthy. The holiday flower does better in the sun, but if exposed to cold weather, the foliage will drop.

How To Care For Poinsettias

  • Light and Temperature: Poinsettia plants like very bright but indirect light with ample moisture; these plants survive longer in a semi-cool and humid environment. Light is vital for growth and color retention.
  • Water: Itís advisable to water the plants thoroughly every time the soil feels dry to touch. The plant doesnít like water accumulation at its bottom. To avoid this, slit the bottom of the pot, if itís in a basket, drain all water that might have collected.
  • Fertilizer: The plant requires a well-balanced fertilizer like Peter's 20-20-20 until the plant attains its full color. Reduce application of fertilizer to Ĺ strength once whenever you water your plant.
  • Temperature: Poinsettias like a warm room that ranges between 65-80-degree F in the day time and 60-65-degrees F at night. Avoid excess heat or cold, temperature generating appliances and fireplaces.

How To Maintain Your Poinsettia After Christmas

The holiday period is over; you want to have this beautiful flower in your garden. First, remember the plant likes a sunny environment with lots of water.

To transport from your pot into your backyard soil, remove all the branches and cut to about six inches of the pot rim. Use the same dirt from the pot container when you are transporting your plant to your backyard.

During the coming months, especially between September and November, light plays a vital role in poinsettia plant growth. It requires sufficient energy to produce flower and needs long periods of darkness at night to bloom out fully.

For the most success with your Poinsettias and any other flowers in your garden, have a reliable landscape specialist take a look at your home garden and recommend best practices.

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Posted by William Manchenton on 6/12/2018

For many homeowners who keep a garden, insects are either a minor annoyance or a full on blight. Beetles, flies, caterpillars and other insects can quickly devour the leaves of your plants, leaving them stunted and unable to produce fruits and vegetables at the end of the season.

In our haste to be rid of these bugs, many people turn to pesticides. However, most pesticides arenít discriminate in the insects they deter from your garden. As a result, they can also often discourage insects that are beneficial to your garden.

In this article, weíre going to list six insects that are beneficial for your garden and give you some tips on how to encourage them to feel at home in your garden.

1. Damsel Bugs

Damsel bugs look like a cross between a mantis and a grasshopper. They prey on many insects that can harm your garden, including caterpillars and aphids.

2. Ladybugs

Ladybug, lady bird, lady beetle... These polka dotted insects have many names. They also have many uses for your garden. They ward off aphids and whiteflies, and letís face it, theyíre fun to look at as well. To attract ladybugs to your garden, plant some dill; these insects are attracted to the herb.

3. Soldier beetles

Named for their color which resembled the red coats of the early British army, soldier beetles are very beneficial to have in your garden. They eat the eggs and larvae of other insects, including beetles and moths, that can easily take over the leaves in your garden.

To find out if your plants have eggs or larvae on them, look on the underside of the leaves. Insects often lay their eggs on large leaves like those of squash and cucumber plants.

4. Braconid wasps

We know what youíre thinking, ďWhy would I ever want wasps in my garden?Ē Well, these particular wasps happen to be parasites that lay their eggs on other insects that feast on your garden.

You also donít have to worry about being stung, since these wasps arenít stingers. Plus, all of the eggs they lay on the insects that eat your garden will come in handy for keeping your garden pest-free later on.

5. Bees

There are about 25,000 known species of bees worldwide. Many of them are among the best pollinators for your flower or vegetable garden.

To attract beneficial bees to your garden, incorporate native plants and avoid pesticides. Bees have a good sense of color, so the wider variety of colorful flowers you have, the more likely you are to attract these pollinators.

6. Earthworms

Technically speaking, worms arenít considered insects. However, theyíre on this list because of the benefit they provide to your garden. This includes recycling organic waste in your garden, and improving soil composition. They loosen them soil to allow oxygen and useful bacteria to enter the plant roots.

Tags: gardening tips   garden   insects   bugs  
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Posted by William Manchenton on 8/9/2016

Warm weather has arrived. You have done a spring cleanup on your home landscape, turned over the flower beds and garden plot and added organic compost to enrich the soil; now you are ready to select new plants to introduce into your home environment. Before you head out to the nursery or home and garden store to make a big purchase, it is helpful to keep a few guidelines in mind. Avoid Purchasing Plants In Full Bloom When selecting plants it is difficult not to want to select plants that are already in full bloom: they are so beautiful and will add instant color to the yard. Resist that urge. Plants that are already blooming require a great deal of energy to sustain the blooms. Instead, select plants that exhibit flower buds that appear full and solid but have yet to open. Choosing plants that are in bud gives you the time to plant them in your garden allow the roots to become established. To further promote growth and vigor, pinch off the existing buds at planting time. The flowers will come back, and the roots will receive the plantís full energy resulting in stronger and healthier plants. Healthy Roots Mean A Healthy Plant Before you purchase a new plant, check the roots. If you are purchasing a woody ornament, shrub or tree, donít hesitate to pull it from its container. Healthy, vigorous plants will present roots that are light in color and evenly distributed without being overly cramped. Avoid plants will dark, damaged or tight and twisted roots. Select Disease Free Plants Inspect plants carefully for signs of insect infestation or disease. Look under the leaves for signs of mold and mildew, leaf stippling, a stick residue, or small black flecks on the underside of the leaves. These are all signs of disease. Appearance Is Important Resist purchasing garden plants that appear leggy or like they are stretching for the sun. This is an indicator that the plant was grown in less than adequate light or was either consistently under or over watered. Pale foliage is also an indicator of over watering. Do The Research Go online and check the United States Plant Hardiness Zone map to determine your growing region. Just because an attractive blooming plant is offered for sale at your local nursery does not mean it will flourish in your hardiness zone. If in doubt, contact your local county extension office to obtain a list of home landscape plants with a proven history of doing well in your area. Make Good Choices Avoid emotional choices and picking out the first colorful flat of plants that attracts your eye. The best way to keep your garden vibrant, healthy and attractive is to avoid introducing diseased plants into your environment.

Tags: gardening tips  
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